Sat 24th Feb 2018
Suburban Football League Premier Division
Corinthians 3-1 TAFC Reserve team
TAFC goals: Tom Shaw
Corinthian Res.(2)3 Tring Ath.Res(0)1
This fixture meant my leaving Luton at 12.00 ,driving 130 miles a distance equalled by at least 4 other drivers and in one instance a total of 190 miles ,which will affect a players performance, and without a regular keeper as custodian Mark Richardson had ,quite legitimately ,been called up to the First team at short notice to arrive at a Club who had a choice of 2 pitches ,both in good condition ,to ensure the game was played,an indoor 11 a side 3G Pitch overlooked from the Clubhouse and an outdoor 3G training pitch.
I say this to put our performance into perspective and to maybe see what Tring Ath may well become over the next few seasons.
We set up in defensive mode ,playing 5 in midfield ,a back 4 and by letting the opposition have the ball from their keeper trying to ensure that we kept them in front of ourselves and leaving no space in behind.
The message didn't get through to one or two and we were certainly not good enough in possession but through sheer endeavour kept Corinthians at bay and stand in custodian James Butler dealt with the odd shot.
On 25 mins a poor pass into forward Joe Naylor resulted in a quick break and a finish in off the crossbar.
We again resumed our aim to starve the opposition of meaningful chances and just when we looked going in 1-0 down a massive hole in our midfield was exploited and we arrived at half time at 2-0 down and facing playing up a slope.
With nothing to lose we kept the same shape but asked the 2 wide men and the centre forward to push on and put their back 4 under pressure,forcing the keeper to go long and in that way regaining possession from first and second balls.
Amazingly within 25 mins we made and missed 4 one on ones , 2 from good saves by their keeper but two really should have been scored.
With 15 mins to go Tom Shaw ,took advantage of a clever " I'm going to fall over" dummy from Ollie Ruttle to cut the deficit.
Corinthians then cut us apart from the kick off but failed to score and there now seemed every chance of an equaliser but having missed easier chances we created only half chances and with 5 mins to go the game was put beyond doubt with an error from The Cat.
Although Corinthians were the better side we could easily have gained a point. As it was we are now bottom of the table.
On the plus side I can't fault the commitment of the squad and there were a couple of stand out performances, most pleasingly from some of the younger players and the back 4.
J.Butler, J.Byerley, P.Bagatti, D.Steadman (W.Bisney) M.Bulpit (G.Terblanche) N.Holden, R.McMahon (O.Ruttle), R.Hazel, C.Gregory (L.Gorman) T.Shaw.